iMentor NYC Issues Challenge to Corporate Community to Recruit 1,000 Volunteer Mentors

New York City


NEW YORK CITY (March 11, 2020) – In its 20th year of empowering first-generation students to achieve their education and career goals, today iMentor announced plans to recruit 1,000 new mentors to its program and boost the diversity of its mentor pool by 10 percent over the next year through the Mentor Pledge 2020, with a focus on increasing Black and Latinx mentor representation from 25% to 35%. Core to the Pledge’s success is expanded collaboration with corporate diversity and inclusion experts and affinity groups to develop effective recruitment strategies. Founding champions of the Mentor Pledge 2020 include: AlphaSights, Amazon, Barclays, Bloomberg, Capital One, Ernst & Young LLP, Mizuho Financial Group, Morgan Stanley, RBC Capital Markets, and UBS.

“We are thrilled to launch the Mentor Pledge 2020, working in collaboration with our corporate partners across New York City to recruit 1,000 new mentors,” said Max Polaner, Executive Director, iMentor NYC. “Our young people are extraordinary, and they are ready to seize upon opportunities to learn outside the classroom and succeed. This work builds upon iMentor’s commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion and seeks to build more equitable systems for all young people as they pursue their education and career goals.”

Mentor Pledge 2020 is the catalyst for a multi-generation impact on workplace diversity and inclusion informed by internal and external research. As outlined in the recently released iMentor NYC 2019 Impact Data, 78% of its mentees enroll in college on time compared to 58% of peers, and nearly half complete college within six years – more than double the rate of their peers. Additionally, an expansive multi-year working study conducted by leading academic institutions found black youth are 13 percent and 32 percent more likely to attend college when they have one or two black teachers, respectively. Historically however, underrepresented groups receive less mentorship than their peers in well-represented groups. The importance of mentors and mentees sharing cultural experiences is evident, and iMentor is uniquely positioned to lead a new generation of diverse mentees to college and career success, ultimately resulting in a more diverse and inclusive talent pipeline.

The benefits of mentorship for a workplace are also becoming clearer as company satisfaction surveys indicate that employees who participate in community mentoring also express a greater sense of work satisfaction, develop leadership skills, and gain empathy. Further, mentorship in the workplace, particularly with underrepresented groups, leads to better inclusion outcomes and retention of diverse employees.

“We’ve really valued our corporate partnership with iMentor over the past few years,” said Sean Corrigan, Vice President, Americas, AlphaSights. “Not only has the organization allowed many AlphaSights employees to get involved in a rewarding program that positively impacts students in their community, but it's also a great way for employees to live AlphaSights’ mission and vision outside of the office. iMentor and AlphaSights are people-centric organizations; they both aim to connect people in order to share knowledge for the betterment of individuals and society. That’s exactly what mentors do for iMentor students and what our employees do for our clients each day. We’re grateful to be able to contribute to iMentor by spreading their mission and having our employees serve as mentors for such inspiring students. We look forward to building on the last few years through the iMentor Pledge 2020.”

“Barclays is proud to continue our partnership with iMentor in its mission to empower first-generation students to achieve their education and career goals,” said Deborah Goldfarb, Managing Director, Citizenship, Barclays. “Mentoring, role modelling, and networking are all key factors in helping to prepare the leaders of tomorrow. Our colleagues at Barclays love volunteering with this program and sharing their experiences and insights with their mentees.”

“At Capital One, we channel our creativity, curiosity and resources to ignite positive change in our community,” said Aleta Stampley, Director, Community Affairs, Capital One. “To ensure that we make real and lasting change, we rely on a vast network of nonprofit organizations and local leaders who enhance educational opportunities. We are proud to support iMentor and their students with the diverse talents of our associates.”

“I am proud to support EY as a founding champion of the Mentor Pledge 2020,” said Michelle Ng, Corporate Responsibility Leader, Financial Services at Ernst & Young LLP. “I served as a mentor and have been privileged to grow with iMentor over the years. EY is committed to fostering a diverse workforce and an inclusive environment to empower leaders to share their mentorship to support the next generation workforce. Our collaboration with iMentor is a great example of EY’s purpose of building a better working world.”

“Mizuho is proud to lend time and talent to a program that thoughtfully pairs mentors and students in a meaningful partnership for success. iMentor’s approach is making significant strides in college and career readiness for New York City high school students,” said Lesley Palmer, Managing Director, Community Relations, Mizuho Americas.

“Driving iMentor participation at a corporate department level has been a fantastic way to bring MS company values of giving back, to life,” Lisa Shalett, Chief Investment Officer at Morgan Stanley and iMentor NYC Board Member. “The communal experience of mentoring has created not only a forum for fun and bonding, but it has strengthened our corporate mission and culture by providing great launch points for discussions on diversity, inclusion, talent recruiting, development and leading by example.”

“I know firsthand the impact that a mentor can have on the direction of a young person’s life and I’m thrilled that RBC Capital Markets is a part of the Mentor Pledge 2020,” said Daniel Vitaletti, Manager, Foundation & Philanthropy, Client & Marketing Strategy at RBC Capital Markets. “RBC Capital Markets has a strong culture of community service, and through iMentor’s high quality program we can leverage our employees’ talents and their desire to give back to help guide students on a path to success. With diversity and inclusion an ever more urgent focus within all organizations, we also see iMentor as a collaborator as we work towards DEI goals and support the next generation of leaders.”

About iMentorNYC

iMentorNYC builds mentoring relationships that empower first-generation students from low-income communities to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions. iMentor was founded in 1999 by John Griffin, Richard Buery and Matt Klein. Launched with just 49 students in a single school in the South Bronx, today, nationally iMentor serves more than 10,000 students through our direct-service programs in Baltimore, the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York City, and through our partnerships with local non-profit organizations that implement our model in 51 public schools.

PRESS CONTACT: Cynthia Olson

Tel: 646-797-4576

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